I’m becoming more and more interested in the concept of the muse, that creative spark of inspiration that can visit anyone. The muse doesn’t discriminate, she or he doesn’t only pick “special” creative people. All that’s needed is to be open to that creative inspiration, to let the spark set of a train of associations and thoughts in one’s own mind.
That’s the sole difference between people who are creative and people who aren’t. Being receptive to new ideas. Taking the inspiration and building on it. Then making it real. Not just thinking the idea, but acting on it. Doing that painting or drawing. Starting (and finishing!) that story. Trying that new style of dress you thought of. Experimenting in the kitchen to see if that recipe idea tastes good.
It’s not about talent or uniqueness, that’s a myth. It’s about hearing that quiet voice that speaks to us from our inner self, and practicing or art or craft until we make those ideas take shape in the outer world.
I sometimes think of the muse as my Inner Child. The Muse does have that wonderful childlike way of looking at the world. It’s all new and exciting and interesting. But there’s more to the Muse than that. I believe the Muse is also our higher self, our connection to the divine, to universal creativity, to the life force.
We can block it off, or we can listen, see, feel. As a writer, I mostly hear. As a gardener and cook and sewist, I see and feel. I want to develop my artist’s eye as a photographer, to see more there too.
I think that’s what the morning pages are all about. Connecting with that part of ourselves, giving a conduit to that voice, getting in the habit of listening. Artist dates too. They let us open our eyes and ears and senses, to hear and see and feel again with that unjudging and adventurous mind.
I found a free online course in Finding Your Muse, with the delightful Alisa Burke. I’ve only started it, just played her introductory video, but it’s going to be good. I can’t help warm to her, watching her. She’s a natural on the camera, and a wonderfully creative artist. I love the way she plants the Muse firmly in our every day lives. She paints, draws, creates objects, very different from what I want to do, and her style is very different to mine, but the insight into her creative process is fascinating!
Our Muse can be found in any situation- positive or negative- in the light and in the dark- in beautiful places and also in the ordinary. Mining our emotions, our experiences and our daily lives for inspiration is what gives our creativity its flavor.
This is what makes our writing, our art, our other projects uniquely ours, not a pale imitation of someone else. This is what makes our creative work something only we can give to the world. It needs to be the product of our own lives, our own experiences. No matter what your life is, you’ve lived things and you know things and you feel things no-one else does.That’s what makes your work special.
Believe it. Let that shine through. And create.